An Alternative Economics
  • Installation view: 'An Alternative Economics', Institute of Modern Art, 2022. Photo: Joe Ruckli.

  • Five Mile Radius, '444 Queen St', 2022, furniture upcycled from post-demolition waste. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Five Mile Radius, '444 Queen St', 2022, furniture upcycled from post-demolition waste. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Shevaun Wright, 'Teddy Bear Lien', 2022, childhood toys, digital prints, vinyl text, documents. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Shevaun Wright, 'Teddy Bear Lien', 2022, childhood toys, digital prints, vinyl text, documents. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Gunybi Ganambarr, 'Garrapara', 2019 and 'Fishtrap on the Gäṉgän River', 2019. Photo: Joe Ruckli.

  • Gunybi Ganambarr, 'Fishtrap on the Gäṉgän River', 2019, mixed media. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Wanda Gillespie 'Counting Frame (Pink)', 2021 and 'Counting Frame (Green)', 2021, brass, rewarewa timber, jelution chip carved stand, coconut beads, wooden beads, gouache, and wax finish. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Katie Paterson, 'Future Library: A Century Unfolds', 2019, single-channel video, 00:26:55. Photo: Joe Ruckli.

  • Katie Paterson, 'Future Library', 2014-2114. Photo © Rio Gandara / Helsingin Sanomat Future Library is commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling, and managed by the Future Library Trust. Supported by the City of Oslo, Agency for Cultural Affairs and Agency for Urban Environment.

  • Keg de Souza, 'Not a Drop to Drink', 2021, glass panels, pressed plant specimens, wooden table legs, netting, rope. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Keg de Souza, 'Not a Drop to Drink', 2021, glass panels, pressed plant specimens, wooden table legs, netting, rope. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Make or Break, 'Institutional Waste #2', 2022, gyprock sheeting, handmade paper, fixtures and fittings repurposed from the IMA. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Make or Break, 'Institutional Waste #2', 2022, gyprock sheeting, handmade paper, fixtures and fittings repurposed from the IMA. Photo Joe Ruckli.

  • Make or Break, 'Institutional Waste #2', 2022, gyprock sheeting, handmade paper, fixtures and fittings repurposed from the IMA. Photo Joe Ruckli.

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An Alternative Economics

07 May–09 July 202207 May–09 Jul 2022

#AnAlternativeEconomics

An Alternative Economics brings together a group of Australian and international artists who each use their artmaking to explore and expand on the creation of value. Guided by the idea of the circular economy and its compelling counter-narrative to the untenable model of eternal growth, each work in this exhibition offers a provocation to make us reconsider what is ‘counted’ in our society and why.

Artists in this exhibition each offer propositions for artmaking in a ‘post-growth’ world; utilising materials of place, critiquing extractive systems, sharing cultural knowledge, promoting the rights of nature, and meditating on the role of art practice to promote change. The art objects in An Alternative Economics index these processes of critique through their form and offer alternate models in their concepts. These ideas often decentre the human or institution as the arbiter of value, and highlight that it is the transformation of relationships that mark the pathways towards change. The artists in this exhibition each propose (in big and small ways) alternate visions for a more sustainable, equal, and ultimately just future. 

Artists

Five Mile Radius, Gunybi Ganambarr, Wanda Gillespie, Katie Paterson, Make or Break, Keg de Souza, and Shevaun Wright

Curated By
  • Tulleah Pearce
Artist Bios
Make or Break

Make or Break are an artist collective working on unceded Gadigal and Bidjigal lands, they devise and experiment with process-based projects that are co-authored with communities they are invited into. These have included creating experimental economies and temporary currencies; caring for civic spaces; celebrating the labour of strangers; prototyping future worlds; writing speculative fiction and facilitating conversations as collective research.

Wanda Gillespie

Wanda Gillespie is an Australian/New Zealand contemporary artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her sculptural works and performative actions seek transcendence through the reimagining of known forms.

A belief in the spiritual potency of physical objects drives her work. Through pairings or groupings, like the constellation of stars, a cause and effect occurs, an alchemy of form, material and space. Wood is chosen for its energetic qualities, a conduit connecting to whenua/place. A once living growing entity, now ripened for the sculptor’s chisel, peeling back layers of seasons, to extract a truth in shape from the invisible worlds.

Over the past decade she has refined her craft as a wood sculptor through the creation of evocative portrait sculptures, combining detailed and abstracted, ancient and contemporary form. Familiar objects are reimagined with alternate uses, history, culture and ceremony. By using traditional craft techniques in contemporary ways, she questions known histories and the nature of reality.

Wanda Gillespie is an Australian/New Zealand contemporary artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her sculptural works and performative actions seek transcendence through the reimagining of known forms.

A belief in the spiritual potency of physical objects drives her work. Through pairings or groupings, like the constellation of stars, a cause and effect occurs, an alchemy of form, material and space. Wood is chosen for its energetic qualities, a conduit connecting to whenua/place. A once living growing entity, now ripened for the sculptor’s chisel, peeling back layers of seasons, to extract a truth in shape from the invisible worlds.

Over the past decade she has refined her craft as a wood sculptor through the creation of evocative portrait sculptures, combining detailed and abstracted, ancient and contemporary form. Familiar objects are reimagined with alternate uses, history, culture and ceremony. By using traditional craft techniques in contemporary ways, she questions known histories and the nature of reality.

Wanda Gillespie
Five Mile Radius

Five Mile Radius is a Brisbane based design studio exploring Australia’s construction materials. We create projects, products and educational content that imagine a world built on a respect for material resources. Founded in 2016, the studio is the collaborative effort of a group of architects, tradespeople and educators passionate about testing new ideas for Australia’s built future.

Five Mile Radius uses pilot projects to prototype ideas, often turning projects into products that allow for continued experimentation.  Funds generated through the Five Mile Shop are used to fuel additional materials research and create educational events and content. The studio works with both recycled and natural materials and is seen as a local leader in closed loop thinking, waste reuse and bioclimatic design.

Gunybi Ganambarr

Gunybi Ganambarr is a Yolngu artist who lives and works at Gängän, near Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. He began his artistic career painting on bark and larrakitj but has since extended his practice with an experimental and innovative use of reclaimed materials, which include wood, rubber, glass, steel, galvanised iron and aluminium. Under the tutelage of artists such as Gawirrin Gumana and Yumutjin Wunungmurra from his mother’s Dhaḻwaŋu clan, Ganambarr has been able to assume ceremonial authority, and this has shaped the content he is able to depict in his work.

Gunybi Ganambarr is a Yolngu artist who lives and works at Gängän, near Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. He began his artistic career painting on bark and larrakitj but has since extended his practice with an experimental and innovative use of reclaimed materials, which include wood, rubber, glass, steel, galvanised iron and aluminium. Under the tutelage of artists such as Gawirrin Gumana and Yumutjin Wunungmurra from his mother’s Dhaḻwaŋu clan, Ganambarr has been able to assume ceremonial authority, and this has shaped the content he is able to depict in his work.

Gunybi Ganambarr
Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson is a Scottish artists and widely regarded as one of the leading artists of her generation. Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Paterson’s projects consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change. Her artworks make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment. Combining a Romantic sensibility with a research-based approach, conceptual rigour and coolly minimalist presentation, her work collapses the distance between the viewer and the most distant edges of time and the cosmos.

Katie Paterson has broadcast the sounds of a melting glacier live, mapped all the dead stars, compiled a slide archive of darkness from the depths of the Universe, created a light bulb to simulate the experience of moonlight, and sent a recast meteorite back into space. Eliciting feelings of humility, wonder and melancholy akin to the experience of the Romantic sublime, Paterson’s work is at once understated in gesture and yet monumental in scope.

Keg de Souza

Keg de Souza is an artist of Goan heritage who lives and works on unceded Gadigal land and explores the politics of space through temporary architecture, radical pedagogy and food politics. This investigation of social and spatial environments is influenced by architectural training, squatting and organising, as well as personal experiences of colonialism – from her own ancestral lands being colonised to living as a settler on other people’s unceded lands. Keg often creates projects that focus on pedagogy to centre voices that are often marginalised – for learning about Place.

Keg de Souza is an artist of Goan heritage who lives and works on unceded Gadigal land and explores the politics of space through temporary architecture, radical pedagogy and food politics. This investigation of social and spatial environments is influenced by architectural training, squatting and organising, as well as personal experiences of colonialism – from her own ancestral lands being colonised to living as a settler on other people’s unceded lands. Keg often creates projects that focus on pedagogy to centre voices that are often marginalised – for learning about Place.

Keg de Souza
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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands where the IMA now stands. We pay our respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

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